Emergencies were declared in Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, the District of Columbia and Virginia, AP reported.
Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell said the state had its largest non-hurricane outage in history, as more storms threatened. “This is a very dangerous situation,” the governor said.
The outages were especially dangerous because they left the region without air conditioning in an oppressive heat. Temperatures soared to 94 by mid-afternoon and were to hit 100 in Baltimore and Washington, where it had hit 104 on Friday.
More than 20 elderly residents at an apartment home in Indianapolis were displaced when the facility lost power due to a downed tree. Most were bussed to a Red Cross facility to spend the night, and others who depend on oxygen assistance were given other accommodations, the fire department said.
The outages disrupted service for many subscribers to Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest when the storm cut power to some of Amazon Inc.’s operations. The video and photo sharing services took to Twitter and Facebook to update subscribers on the outages. Netflix and Pinterest had restored service by Saturday afternoon.
The storm that whipped through the region Friday night was called a derecho and can produce tornado-like damage. The storm, which can pack wind gusts of up to 90 mph, began in the Midwest, passed over the Appalachian Mountains and then drew new strength from a high pressure system as it hit the south-eastern U.S., said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.